Reasoning in moral conflicts

Thinking and Reasoning 21 (3):265-294 (2015)
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Abstract

Following the assumptions of the mental model theory and its account of moral judgements, we argue for a main role of reasoning in moral judgements, especially in dealing with moral conflicts. In four experiments, we invited adult participants to evaluate scenarios describing moral or immoral actions. Our results confirm the predictions deriving from our assumptions: Given a moral or immoral scenario, the manipulation of the propositions which refer to norms and values results in a scenario eliciting a moral conflict ; when invited to create conflict versions from no-conflict versions of moral or immoral scenarios, individuals manipulate the propositions in the scenario which describe norms and values rather than emotional factors ; the evaluation of conflict scenarios takes longer than the evaluation of no-conflict scenarios, and this is because conflict scenarios involve more deliberative reasoning. We discuss our results in relation to competing..

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